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India wants to join hands with EU for biofuels

India looks forward to working with the European Union for biofuels following the growing gap between oil demand and supply.

business Updated: Jul 06, 2007 12:09 IST

India looks forward to working with the European Union for biofuels following the growing gap between oil demand and supply and the need to decrease reliance on hydrocarbons, minister of new and renewable energy Vilas Muttemwar has said.

"India has been among the world leaders in the deployment of new and renewable energy. Over these years, the contribution of renewable energy has increased significantly in our country, meeting about 15 per cent of the electricity needs," he told delegates at the International Conference on Biofuels hosted by the European Commission here Thursday, according to an INEPNext report.

"Incidentally, 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in new and renewable energy is allowed under the automatic route in India," Muttemwar said.

The biofuels programme in India is to be developed in public-private partnerships, which would promote biofuel plantations on government, community and private lands, the minister declared.

"We look forward to working with the European Union and all participating countries for achieving our biofuel aims and targets," he said.

On his part, EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said that EU biofuel policy should be determined by global environmental concerns - prioritising the greenest biofuels whether produced within the EU or imported.

"Europe should be open to accepting that we will import a large part of our biofuel resources. Even if it theoretically is possible, it is unlikely that our 10 per cent target for biofuels in the EU's energy mix could be met without wider sourcing from imports," he said.